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King Explains Controversial Tweet: 'It's a Clash of Culture, Not the Race'

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is interviewed by NBC News in the rotunda of the Russell Building on the first day of the 115th Congress on Jan. 3, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) this morning defended his controversial tweet about shunning “somebody else’s babies,” adding that he’d like to see a “homogenous” country where Americans look “a lot the same.”

Citing a tweet about Dutch politician Geert Wilders and a protest in support of Islamist Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Rotterdam over the weekend, King tweeted, “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), who was born in Taiwan, tweeted a photo of his two young sons to his House colleague: “Dear Representative Steve King: These are my two babies. –Representative Ted Lieu”

Tweeted Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.): “[email protected] What exactly do you mean? Do I qualify as ‘somebody else’s baby?’ #concernedGOPcolleague”

“America is a nation of immigrants,” tweeted Jeb Bush. “The sentiment expressed by Steve King doesn’t reflect our shared history or values.”

King’s Iowa colleague Rep. David Young (R) tweeted, “America is not about any one color, or one ethnicity, or one faith. America is about self-government, the rule of law, freedom, and the liberties and rights given in our Constitution.”

David Duke tweeted “GOD BLESS STEVE KING,” said “sanity reigns supreme” in King’s congressional district, and later advocated a presidential run: “Steve King -> 2024 (finish the job)?”

On CNN this morning, King told host Chris Cuomo he “meant exactly what I said as is always the case.”

“I’ve been to Europe and spoken on this issue and I’ve said the same thing as far as ten years ago to the German people and any population of people that is a declining population that isn’t willing to have enough babies to reproduce themselves,” the congressman said. “I’ve said to them you can’t rebuild your civilization with somebody else’s babies. You’ve got to keep your birth rate up and you need to teach your children your values. In doing so, you can grow your population and strengthen your culture, strengthen your way of life.”

King said he’s “pretty proud of that, the different looking Americans that are still Americans,” but “there’s an American culture, American civilization. It’s raised within these children in these American homes.”

“If you go down the road a few generations or maybe centuries with the intermarriage, I’d like to see an America that’s so homogenous that we look a lot the same from that perspective,” he added.

King, who introduced a bill Friday to stop the issuance of visas through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and last month reintroduced his legislation to make English the country’s official language, said there’s “an effort on the left I think to break down the American civilization and the American culture and turn it into something entirely different.”

“I’m a champion for western civilization and, yes, our English language is a big part of it,” he said.

Asked if all Americans of different faiths and ethnicities are equal, the congressman replied, “They contribute differently to our culture and civilization.”

“Individuals will contribute differently, not equally, to this civilization and society,” he added. “Certain groups of people will do more from a productive side than other groups of people will. That’s just a statistical fact.”

“…It’s not about race. It’s never been about race. In fact the struggles across this planet, we describe them as race, they’re not race. They’re culture based. It’s a clash of culture, not the race. Sometimes that race is used as an identifier.”

Asked about King’s comments this morning on CNN, White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway said President Trump “is the president of all Americans.”

“He’s said that in the wee hours of November 9 when he was elected, and he’s doing things that will affect all Americans, even those who didn’t support him,” Conway said. “But I think you wanted me here for a different reason.”